The Senate parliamentarian ruled on Monday that Democrats can pass two more pieces of legislation using budget reconciliation, setting up pathways to pass two more bills this year with only a simple majority in the 50-50 Senate.
It is a win for Senate Democrats who plan to use the budget reconciliation process to approve the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan, which is split into two bills. The process was previously used to pass Democrats’ coronavirus relief bill, according to Yahoo News.
“The Parliamentarian has advised that a revised budget resolution may contain budget reconciliation instructions. This confirms the Leader’s interpretation of the Budget Act and allows Democrats additional tools to improve the lives of Americans if Republican obstruction continues,” a spokesperson foSwnaye Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. “While no decisions have been made on a legislative path forward using Section 304 and some parameters still need to be worked out, the Parliamentarian’s opinion is an important step forward that this key pathway is available to Democrats if needed.”
But, even hoping to pass the bill along party lines still poses some problems.
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin says he does not support the bill as it written now and is not onboard with raising the corporate tax rate above 25%. The bill proposes a rate of 28% up from 21%.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who has jurisdiction of the tax legislation Democrats plan to pass to pay for part of Biden’s infrastructure agenda, praised the parliamentarian’s decision Monday evening in a statement to The Hill.
“I’m pleased by the parliamentarian’s ruling that budget resolutions can be revised, allowing us to consider moving additional bills through the reconciliation process. The American people want bold action to address our country’s many challenges, and Democrats now have more options to overcome Republican obstruction and get things done.”